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Crowd Wisdom Better At Predictions Than Top CIA Analysts 136 136

Posted by timothy
from the random-walk-down-global-politics-street dept.
First time accepted submitter tkalfigo (1448133) writes "The Good Judgment Project is an experiment put together by three well-known psychologists and some people inside the intelligence community. What they aim to prove is that average, ordinary people in large groups and access just to Google search can predict far more accurately events of geopolitical importance than smart intelligence analysts with access to actual classified information. In fact there is a clearly identified top 1 percent of the 3000 predictors group, who have been identified as super-forecasters: people whose predictions are reportedly 30 percent better than intelligence officers."
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Crowd Wisdom Better At Predictions Than Top CIA Analysts

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  • Well yeah (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MichaelSmith (789609) on Friday April 11, 2014 @08:29PM (#46730739) Homepage Journal

    This is why its better to have elections than let the CIA select the government. AFAIK, anyway.

  • Seems fishy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ceoyoyo (59147) on Friday April 11, 2014 @08:32PM (#46730767)

    I wonder if they properly controlled for luck. Take three thousand people and get them to make predictions and some of them are going to appear unusually accurate than others even if all of them are just making completely random guesses. You'd be surprised how many people don't correctly account for that. Every paper proposing clinical diagnostic criteria I've ever read, for example.

  • by Arker (91948) on Friday April 11, 2014 @08:37PM (#46730805) Homepage
    Except that this has nothing to do with luck. It has to do with independent observers having less pressure on them to, consciously or subconsciously, produce rhetoric ostensibly concerning foreign policy but whose content is determined by domestic political needs.
  • Question of scale (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Livius (318358) on Friday April 11, 2014 @08:42PM (#46730827)

    With enough people, there will be someone with insightful information, and probably a balance of opinions. Searching for bugs in open source works a little like that.

    But in theory if a professional intelligence service had hard evidence that, for example, a politician is bluffing about something, then a policy can be adopted even if it goes against some conventional wisdom.

    For example, the information that Saddam Hussein's WMD programme was a hoax prevented a rash invasion...., um, never mind.

  • by Flentil (765056) on Friday April 11, 2014 @10:35PM (#46731397)

    I think the majority here use Slashdot's default font and never messed with it, but you did mess with yours, making your posts stand out as odd. Blaming everyone else, making them responsible to fix the 'bug' you created on their screen, isn't very helpful. It's a lot easier to just mod you down than to delve into browser font settings and possibly mess up how we view all other websites, just because you like your posts on Slashdot to look like they were typed on an old-timey typewriter. Why don't you just fix your own browser font settings and not put the burden on everyone else?

  • Re:Bell Curve (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TapeCutter (624760) on Friday April 11, 2014 @10:43PM (#46731425) Journal
    Interesting, so why do "laymen" in the US keep electing zealots, crackpots, and "entrepreneurs" who are clearly lying to their face for fun and profit? Do you guys enjoy being treated with contempt?

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